I just got the following release from the Flyers:
"The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have signed center Mike Richards to a 12-year contract extension, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren. Richards’ new contract will start next season and run through the 2019-2020 season."
Good for Mike and the Flyers, good for the Flyers fans.
We saw the reaction to the Islanders' signing of Rick DiPietro to a landmark 15-year deal. Rick is the face, heart and soul of the franchise. My friends at the Flyers say similar things about Mike Richards.
Will the hockey media, especially the experts in Canada, have as much fun with the Flyers' long-long-long-term deal as they did with the Islanders' deal?
We'll see. That's another thing about the sports press: when they do not know how to react - or don't have the guts to take a stand - they resort to bad jokes.
Just over a year later, the DiPietro deal can be considered revolutionary, the door-opener for lengthy deals all over sports. It was also brilliant for the Islanders and their fans. Call it the deal of the decade and a half.